Last November I was in Manama, Bahrain and since it was my first visit to the country, I made it a point to save a couple of days to “play tourist”. One of the many remarkable places I visited was Shajarat-al-Haya or the Tree of Life, a solitary 32-foot tall Asian mesquite tree that survives, seemingly without water, in the middle of the desert. Despite extreme temperatures and the apparent lack of fresh water and nutrients, it has continued to grow and flourish, so legend has it that Enki, an ancient god of water in Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, protects the tree. And yet others believe the site is the historical location of the Garden of Eden. Science has a more logical explanation. Scientists believe that the tree’s root system has searched deep, over 150 feet in fact, and has managed to locate an aquifer that sustains its survival. However the scientists cannot prove this theory, because if they were to dig to confirm the existence of the aquifer, ironically they would damage the root system and ultimately destroy the tree. So in the absence of proof, one way or another, the various schools of thought continue, and in the meantime, over 50,000 tourists a year come to pay homage to the tree.
As I stood back and admired the tree, it occurred to me that we don’t always have to know the answer to every question in order to appreciate the beauty of a situation. Sometimes it is better to just enjoy success or to be thankful for what is working well rather than to squander energy and effort in trying to understand why. Sometimes it is better to enjoy the moment, to just take pleasure in the present. I wonder … is there a lesson there for workplace situations as well? Your thoughts welcomed.